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Thread: 1st Post. Looking for some GSMNP fishing advice from the seasoned veterans.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    3

    Default 1st Post. Looking for some GSMNP fishing advice from the seasoned veterans.

    Hello all,

    I typically high stick almost exclusively in the GSMNP. Like most of you I've had good days and bad just depending on different factors and the fly-fishing gods. Recently I have been hunting for larger fish in the lower elevations without a ton of luck. I dress covertly (thanks to you guys) and try to keep my profile low and slow. I almost always use a dry/dropper rig.

    My question is this. What is most important? Staying hidden and possible spooking the fish by mending, casting, and the like, or being closer to the fish and high sticking for a better presentation and less movement?

    What is your opinion?

    Thank fellas!

    -Caleb

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Crossville, TN
    Posts
    2,423

    Default

    Whether to get close or stay farther back really depends on the fish and where it is sitting. I always get as close as possible to a big fish but some are sitting in spots that simply won't allow that. That said, a dry/dropper rig will not catch nearly as many big fish as learning to fish nymphs and under certain circumstances, streamers. I've caught a lot of big fish just fishing nymphs in the right places without ever spotting the fish before fishing to it. Those big fish caught while sight fishing are more memorable in many ways, but if you fish the right water with the right approach, you will also luck into big fish with some regularity. Good luck and happy hunting!
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    3

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Knapp View Post
    Whether to get close or stay farther back really depends on the fish and where it is sitting. I always get as close as possible to a big fish but some are sitting in spots that simply won't allow that. That said, a dry/dropper rig will not catch nearly as many big fish as learning to fish nymphs and under certain circumstances, streamers. I've caught a lot of big fish just fishing nymphs in the right places without ever spotting the fish before fishing to it. Those big fish caught while sight fishing are more memorable in many ways, but if you fish the right water with the right approach, you will also luck into big fish with some regularity. Good luck and happy hunting!

    Hey David,

    When you fish a nymph, do you use a strike indicator? How is a dry with a nymph dropper different that a nymph with a strike indicator? Is the presentation better?

    I appreciate the help!

    --Caleb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Crossville, TN
    Posts
    2,423

    Default

    I typically do not use an indicator although I use some indicator tippet at times ("Euro" style). I ALWAYS carry one with me though and add it to the leader if I'm fishing more than 15-20 feet out and sometimes less. That said, if you are just starting to nymph, at least starting out with an indicator is a good idea to help you learn to get good drifts and read the take more effectively. A dry with a nymph dropper is set at a static depth whereas most indicators are adjustable. Furthermore, most nymphs that are heavy enough to get down where the fish are would sink most dry flies. I typically add some split shot to my rig as well which would also sink a dry fly. I hope this helps!
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Knoxville/Reidsville, NC
    Posts
    302

    Default

    One thing to remember when fishing a two fly rig in the GSMNP is that they have to be at least 12” apart. You will not find this in the general fishing regs, it’s buried in the CFR regs. How often is this enforced? Probably not much, but you don’t know when it will be and it’s the law. I try to keep my dropper around 16-20 inches below my dry, it will vary some but I have found that length works for me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Kodak, TN
    Posts
    151

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    [I typically high stick almost exclusively in the GSMNP. Like most of you I've had good days and bad just depending on different factors and the fly-fishing gods. Recently I have been hunting for larger fish in the lower elevations without a ton of luck. I dress covertly (thanks to you guys) and try to keep my profile low and slow. I almost always use a dry/dropper rig.My question is this. What is most important? Staying hidden and possible spooking the fish by mending, casting, and the like, or being closer to the fish and high sticking for a better presentation and less movement?]


    I agree with David's comments. The majority of flies I use are big (#6-# and too heavy for a dry to hold up. Any time I come upon a pool, especially with a tail out, I go into eagle-eye mode and carefully scan the shallower tail out for large trout. I'm seeing more and more in the shoals just immediately below the tail out. Saturday I spooked a 20" plus out of a very shallow pocket and it bolted into the pool, which put every other trout on alert in the pool. To avoid this, sometimes I'll circle up into the woods and come in more from the side bypass the "sentinel" trout.

    In slick water, I try to avoid any slack mend and if I do mend, I'll do it quickly before my line gets near where I expect the trout to be holding. I have found using a small "bb" size piece of the little roll-on indicators that, if positioned 5 ft or so above the top fly, doesn't typically have an effect on spooking trout, but I try to keep them to the side and not directly over the fish. I've cast 30-40 feet and though my little indicator goes underwater, I can still see it and I've caught large trout that were not spooked simply by watching my indicator suddenly dart forward.

    Of course there are situations where it's not possible to approach without being seen or casting over a trout. Last summer, I saw two over 20" and a few feet over one I estimated at pushing 30", lying in a narrow deep pool with thick cover on both sides requiring a nearly direct upstream approach. Without stepping into the pool required a 50-60 ft cast to permit the weighted flies to get down to it's depth. My conclusion was it got that big by being in such a spot. Yes.... as far as I know that monster is still there :-(

    Jim Parks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Norris, TN
    Posts
    2,176

    Thumbs up

    David and Jim,
    You two are always top notch stewards in helping others find joy! Thanks and great job fellas!

    Quote Originally Posted by David Knapp View Post
    Whether to get close or stay farther back really depends on the fish and where it is sitting. I always get as close as possible to a big fish but some are sitting in spots that simply won't allow that. That said, a dry/dropper rig will not catch nearly as many big fish as learning to fish nymphs and under certain circumstances, streamers. I've caught a lot of big fish just fishing nymphs in the right places without ever spotting the fish before fishing to it. Those big fish caught while sight fishing are more memorable in many ways, but if you fish the right water with the right approach, you will also luck into big fish with some regularity. Good luck and happy hunting!


    Quote Originally Posted by Grampus View Post
    [I typically high stick almost exclusively in the GSMNP. Like most of you I've had good days and bad just depending on different factors and the fly-fishing gods. Recently I have been hunting for larger fish in the lower elevations without a ton of luck. I dress covertly (thanks to you guys) and try to keep my profile low and slow. I almost always use a dry/dropper rig.My question is this. What is most important? Staying hidden and possible spooking the fish by mending, casting, and the like, or being closer to the fish and high sticking for a better presentation and less movement?]

    I agree with David's comments. The majority of flies I use are big (#6-# and too heavy for a dry to hold up. Any time I come upon a pool, especially with a tail out, I go into eagle-eye mode and carefully scan the shallower tail out for large trout. I'm seeing more and more in the shoals just immediately below the tail out. Saturday I spooked a 20" plus out of a very shallow pocket and it bolted into the pool, which put every other trout on alert in the pool. To avoid this, sometimes I'll circle up into the woods and come in more from the side bypass the "sentinel" trout.

    In slick water, I try to avoid any slack mend and if I do mend, I'll do it quickly before my line gets near where I expect the trout to be holding. I have found using a small "bb" size piece of the little roll-on indicators that, if positioned 5 ft or so above the top fly, doesn't typically have an effect on spooking trout, but I try to keep them to the side and not directly over the fish. I've cast 30-40 feet and though my little indicator goes underwater, I can still see it and I've caught large trout that were not spooked simply by watching my indicator suddenly dart forward.

    Of course there are situations where it's not possible to approach without being seen or casting over a trout. Last summer, I saw two over 20" and a few feet over one I estimated at pushing 30", lying in a narrow deep pool with thick cover on both sides requiring a nearly direct upstream approach. Without stepping into the pool required a 50-60 ft cast to permit the weighted flies to get down to it's depth. My conclusion was it got that big by being in such a spot. Yes.... as far as I know that monster is still there :-(

    Jim Parks
    “Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will, & creative imagination.
    These give us the ultimate human freedom... The
    power
    to choose, to respond, to change.”



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Grampus View Post
    [I typically high stick almost exclusively in the GSMNP. Like most of you I've had good days and bad just depending on different factors and the fly-fishing gods. Recently I have been hunting for larger fish in the lower elevations without a ton of luck. I dress covertly (thanks to you guys) and try to keep my profile low and slow. I almost always use a dry/dropper rig.My question is this. What is most important? Staying hidden and possible spooking the fish by mending, casting, and the like, or being closer to the fish and high sticking for a better presentation and less movement?]


    I agree with David's comments. The majority of flies I use are big (#6-# and too heavy for a dry to hold up. Any time I come upon a pool, especially with a tail out, I go into eagle-eye mode and carefully scan the shallower tail out for large trout. I'm seeing more and more in the shoals just immediately below the tail out. Saturday I spooked a 20" plus out of a very shallow pocket and it bolted into the pool, which put every other trout on alert in the pool. To avoid this, sometimes I'll circle up into the woods and come in more from the side bypass the "sentinel" trout.

    In slick water, I try to avoid any slack mend and if I do mend, I'll do it quickly before my line gets near where I expect the trout to be holding. I have found using a small "bb" size piece of the little roll-on indicators that, if positioned 5 ft or so above the top fly, doesn't typically have an effect on spooking trout, but I try to keep them to the side and not directly over the fish. I've cast 30-40 feet and though my little indicator goes underwater, I can still see it and I've caught large trout that were not spooked simply by watching my indicator suddenly dart forward.

    Of course there are situations where it's not possible to approach without being seen or casting over a trout. Last summer, I saw two over 20" and a few feet over one I estimated at pushing 30", lying in a narrow deep pool with thick cover on both sides requiring a nearly direct upstream approach. Without stepping into the pool required a 50-60 ft cast to permit the weighted flies to get down to it's depth. My conclusion was it got that big by being in such a spot. Yes.... as far as I know that monster is still there :-(

    Jim Parks



    Yep, Thank you two! I appreciate it!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    2

    Default

    This may be heresy on this site but you can fish large weighted nymphs and streamers weighted with split shot with a spinning rod.

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